Springfield School District bond election coming up
On February 9, the community will have the opportunity to vote on the Springfield School District bond election.
The upcoming election is the culminating of a multi-year process that involved school officials, stake-holders and most importantly, the community itself.
Since 2016, the school district has been working on developing a long-range facility plan to help them understand how to best address the aging mechanical and programming needs. The school district initiated a professional comprehensive facility study completed by architect and engineering professionals from ISG.
The school district realized that the facility needs identified in the study were too large to be covered in their annual budget.
The school district then organized a facility task force of more than 30 stakeholders made up of business leaders, parents, farmers, community members and school staff. This task force has now met more than 15 times. It was charged to do a comprehensive review of the facility needs and consider any building infrastructure, safety, capacity, and adequacy of educational support spaces. The facility task force drafted a conceptual plan that would address the identified needs and to gather input from the community. Several listening sessions were held, and a community survey was conducted in the fall of 2019.
The task force reviewed and listened to the information derived from the community survey, and went back to work prioritizing the conceptual plan by reducing its scope and cost accordingly. A revised conceptual plan was then recommended to the school board to ask voters to decide on two ballot questions totaling $19,765,000. The first question requests building bonds not to exceed $17,665,000 and the second question requests bonds not to exceed $2,100,000.
The needs addressed within the ballot questions were identified by the community as a priority and within the identified tax threshold. The tax impact of both questions on farmland valued at $7K per acre is $2.99 per acre for homestead and $6.00 per acre for non-homestead.
The school district learned that the MN 2020 building code for schools now requires new construction projects to include a tornado shelter rated to withstand a 250 mph tornado. The school district has applied for a $1.460M FEMA grant to reduce the $17.665M Question 1 bond amount accordingly.
To learn more about the proposed plan and bond referendum visit www.springfield.mntm.org.